Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back to School=back to fitness

It's time to get back to taking care of YOU! Back to school also means getting organized and making priorities and not just fitting in your time to exercise but making that a regular part of your day.

Just like your kids need to prepare the night before and pack bags, lunches or plan your schedule if you home school, add your day to that routine and pack your gym bag, plan your fitness routine, your meals, whatever you have to do to be ready to just go.

One of the things that used to hold me back was the idea that I could not leave my house messy, dishes in the sink, laundry on the couch, etc... well guess what, those things will be there when I get back from my workout. Now I make fitness a priority because it makes me more productive and happier the rest of the day.

I do teach fitness classes, this is my job, however I have to fit in fitness for me that does not require me to plan or think about anyone else.  Believe it or not, it's harder than you think to fit in exercise when this is what I do for a living.  I make it a priority by going to a different gym, where people aren't looking at me as their instructor, I run local trails, and join outdoor bootcamp and yoga classes. Because anytime I'm doing any form of exercise I'm giving myself the gift of happiness and health.

Are you on board, let's do this!

Stay well,

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Start Exercising Now! Again...

Image result for start exercising today

You know it's been a long time since you worked out if you can't remember where you last saw your workout shoes or clothes for that matter. How about that old water bottle? Many of us have a huge list of good excuses reasons for why we stop a perfectly good workout routine and that's perfectly OK to do. After all, life does happen and sometimes it happens to interrupt whatever we have going on at the time.
I'm not a big fan of making resolutions because I feel sort of paralyzed after a few weeks. It's like I make this decision to do the best ever and then if I can't meet that huge goal I feel like a complete failure. Instead I just jump right in and get started with what was working before or at least adjusting what wasn't working.
So how do you get started?
First - you need motivation. Only you can make the decision to start a wellness program and only you can determine the reason. To lose weight, to maintain weight, to be more active? for your kids? your health? Whatever the reasons, write them down and let that be your motivation to START!.
Image result for start your workoutSecond - gather up your gear & put it on the schedule. Get everything ready the night before - find that old gym bag and fill it up with a bottle of water, towel, exercise shoes and clothes. Be prepared and eliminate any potential pitt-falls. On your family or personal calendar, write your workout plans. Make this an appointment with yourself, your family or your friends.
Third - where are you going? are you going to the gym? calling a friend to join you on a walk? going for a run or bike ride? working out at home? Choose your activity. It really doesn't matter what activity you choose, but choose one and go with it. Be prepared to do that activity and several others throughout the week. Be prepared to do your workout even if your friend cancels. Be flexible.
Fourth - Clean out your fridge and pantry. The last thing you need are temptations to ruin a good workout. You don't have to toss the goodies, although not having them is the best way to go, just tape up the boxes and bags and place them up high or low - you don't want those treats to be easily accessible. Instead, load up on fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks such as nuts and high fiber protein bars and of course, water. Yes, plain old water. Keep the water bottles ready to go in the fridge or on your counter and drink water throughout the day.
Image result for start exercising todayThe first workout might be the hardest but it will be the beginning of a much healthier you!
Stay Well,

Monday, February 27, 2017

Belly Fat

Surprise! There's no magic trick or special thing and we don't even need plastic wrap.

Belly Fat!

We all have it, even skinny people with flat abs have belly fat.  It serves as a cushion for organs and bones and all that stuff in there.

The problem is with visceral fat - the fat that is stored deep around your organs and can't be pinched.  An article in MyFitnessPal repeats what I always say to my clients "you can’t forcefully spot reduce fat around your belly no matter how many crunches you do. The next best thing is to live a healthy lifestyle..."


So what do we need to do? Exactly how do I get rid of this excess visceral fat?

Well it's going to take a little time and a lot of patience, determination, and friends to keep you honest.

Here's the magic... Exercise, like for real exercise. Move, sweat, walk, run, swim, bike. Get in there and lift heavy weights. I'm sorry lifting three and five pounds for an extended period of time will only bring on some overuse injuries.

FOOD:  HUGE impact on fat loss.  Lean protein, high fiber, whole foods, eliminating processed foods, added sugars, etc.  There's no trick, it's eating like a normal human being should eat. A french baguette with butter is not one serving just because it's not cut up into little pieces.  Making good choices and being moderate.  All You Can Eat is a recipe for disaster because no one should eat all they COULD eat.

EXERCISE: Yes, you have to move. You have to exercise to burn fat.

REST/RECOVER: You have to recover, give your body a chance to rest before going strong again. 

How do you destress? Yoga, meditation, easy walk in the park, sitting in the sun on a nice day? Whatever you choose to help free your mind of stress for a little while, do it often.

JOURNAL/TRACK:  Keeping track of what you eat and maybe even how you feel can be very eye opening.  I've had days when I think I ate so great and exercised and my confidence is quickly knocked out by the realization that my meal out was not as low fat or cal as I thought and worse yet, my workout, according to my heart rate monitor only killed 200 calories... insert angry face!! Write it down, especially on your most stressful weeks.

Let's do some core strengthening exercises this month but keep in mind, these will strengthen your core, how you eat and how active you are will be key in burning off body fat.  Let's get strong people!! March Challenge coming soon.

Stay Well,


Monday, January 23, 2017

Let's Get Moving - Week 4

Four weeks later and what have you done.  This is our fourth and last week on this Let's Get Moving! challenge.  The goal was to get you out of your seat and working out at home, outside or the gym for 10-15 minutes or more if the energy and motivation were there to push through more than one round.  

As I reflect on this past month I can definitely say that I am working harder in my exercise classes. I even invested in a Wahoo TickrX heart rate monitor to help me stay on track and push harder.  I realize that in my job as a fitness trainer, exercise is not the issue. Also proves that if you don't change your diet, all the exercise in the world wont change the shape of your body... well, it might, just not how you want it to change.  

How do I know this? Because I decided I would just exercise, eat what I craved and clearly all the time in the gym would be enough to burn off whatever I craved.  Well, no. That did not work.

As we take a week off and begin to look at February and what fitness challenges we will have to work through, I will begin to plan my menu, snacks, foods to-go for my after-workout meals as well as what I eat after 2:00 PM --when things seem to go downhill for me.  For the most part, if we are prepared with the right foods, drinks, snacks, etc. it will be much harder to cheat or eat the wrong foods, particularly during those moments of weakness.

I am a work in progress but will never give up. Yes, fitness instructors do struggle with weight gain, muscle loss, lack of sleep and so much more. The goal, once you know this, is to acknowledge this weakness and to make changes that will improve your health.  

OK, on to week four exercises...

There are three rounds each with a different count.  

Round 1.  24 counts 1 minute plank
Round 2.  16 counts 45 sec plank
Round 3.  8 counts 30 seconds plank

1.  Right/Left Lunge with Overhead Clap

*Step back with the right leg, arms extended to the side. Drop knee towards the floor while bringing arms up to clap overhead, complete round on Right then Left before moving to next exercise.

2.  Push Up and Shoulder Tap right/left

*Either on your knees or toes, keep abs pulled in, control each move and breath (inhale down/exhale up); touch right hand to left shoulder and left hand to right shoulder, then repeat the push up---*count only the push up.

3. Jumping Jax - 4 Jax 2 Squats=1 count...Ouch!

*Do four jumping jax then 2 squats to equal 1, repeat to complete the set of 24 for round one, 16 for round 2 and 8 for round 3.


Round 1: 1:00 min
Round 2: :45 sec
Round 3: :30 sec

Let's get to work!!!

Now that you know my secrets...can't stop eating after 2:00 PM, here are some mid afternoon recipes for healthy, high protein, delicious snacks.  I needed this. Hope you'll find some you like.

Snacks from Greatist

Please share your favorite mid afternoon snacks.

Stay Well,

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Let's get moving! Week 3

Photo Source:
So here's my dilemma. I am not eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables as I should, not because of my role in fitness but because of my health. Why? Well, it's simply laziness, no lie. I just don't want to take the time to peel a banana or chew an apple.

I know, that takes so much time out of my day. I mean, after eating a banana and walking all the way to the trashcan to throw out the banana peel, I have zero energy or time for anything else.  OK I'm clearly exaggerating about this because it doesn't take away time from my day and some of the things I am eating take longer than grabbing an apple on the way out the door.  But truthfully, since just before the holidays I sort of gave up on eating "all the right foods" and I sort of never came back from that life of denial.

So here I go again. I need to go shopping to load up my fridge, pantry, and counter top with a variety of very colorful foods and then I need to eat them frequently.  I already know that my energy levels will be high, I will feel great, and even lose a few pounds. I don't make resolutions so let's not call it that, just making adjustments to get get my healthy lifestyle back.

On to our weekly workouts. I have no idea who is following this or doing these exercises, hopefully it is helping someone get on track and start to exercise.  Do each of these circuits every other day or 3 days a week do both for 3 rounds each, do what works for you.

Circuit #1:
16X each

1.  Mountain Climbers
2.  Hip bridge (both feet on the floor)
3.  Step up/step down (8 w/right foot and 8 w/left)
4.  Push Ups (knees or toes)

Repeat 3X

Finish: Hold Plank for 45 seconds

Circuit #2:

16X each

1.  Squat Jump or Squat Knee Lift (alternating knees)
2.  Triceps Dips
3.  Static Lunges (8 w/right and 8 w/left )
4.  Crunches (lift shoulders 2 counts up/2 down)

Repeat 3X

Finish: Hold Plank for 45 seconds


Recipe for this week

Warm Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Tarragon

Let's get moving!
Stay well,

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Let's get moving! - Week 2

Time: Have you taken the time to exercise, rest, recover, eat, sleep, drink water? No? It's not uncommon. Don't feel bad. I struggle with this issue as well, yes as a fitness trainer if I didn't have to be at the gym I might not have the time either. 

But then there comes a time (there's that word again) when you have to just say "I matter" "my health matters" "my mood matters" and "YOU matter, so I need to exercise so we can both be happy."

But seriously, this is week two of my Let's get moving! plan.
Here is a workout for this week. Break this up any way you want, two different days or all in one day, every other day, the more the better. Let's do this!

Circuit #1

  • Push Ups - 10X ---> Sprint
  • Double Lunges 10X R/10X L ---> Sprint
  • Tricep Dips 10X ---> Sprint
  • Squat Builders (¼ squats) ---> Sprint
**Sprint 20 yards and back, in a parking lot or track. If these are not an option run up and down the stairs 2X, option #3 do High Knee Run for 30 seconds.

Circuit #2

HIIT: 30/5 sec each - Repeat this round 3X

  1. Mountain Climb
  2. Power jax

Proceed with this round - 2X
-30 sec Push Ups/shoulder tabs
-1 min Squats
-30 sec Tricep Push Ups
-1 min Plie Squats

 Alright, time to work.

But first, the winning recipe of the week is.....

Caprese Avocado Salad by

Enjoy. Stay well. Let's get Moving!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Let's get moving in 2017

OK new year, new you they say... it's so easy, just eat right, exercise, sleep, ugh... it's not easy. Let's not kid ourselves.

I started off yesterday doing really well. Then I realized there were too many cookies left and leftover coffee cake, lasagna and such so it all went downhill after noon, then it was nap time, yup, nap time.

Needless to say going to teach Pilates and Cycle today was good for me but did not feel so great as I think my muscles atrophied ha ha!! But now, it's over. 
No more holiday leftovers or excuses. Let's do this. First challenge of the year. Not sure how many will follow but here it goes.

2 exercises, 2 days a week... the rest of the week it's all you and your motivation. I hope to get you up and running with energy and motivation each day. I will also post a recipe of the week and hope you will give them a try or share your own.

Tuesday/Thursday workouts each lasting 10-13 minutes will be posted by 5 am. Look for it. Do it in the morning or evening OR do both on the same day ... whatever you want to do, it's your workout. Let's get moving!!

Sometimes we all just need a little motivation from our friends wherever they may be to get us moving. It works for me.

Week 1/2017

It's a pyramid... 5/10/15/10/5 REST Repeat as many times as you want.

Your exercises for this week are:

Day 1: Tuesday
5 Box Jumps 
5 Push ups

10 Box Jumps
10 Push Ups

15 Box Jumps
15 Push ups

10 Box Jumps
10 Push Ups

5 Box Jumps
5 Push ups

HOLD a PLANK for 30 seconds

Day 2: Thursday

5 Mountain Climbers
5 Alternating Lunges - count only one leg

10 Mountain Climbers
10 Alternating Lunges

15 Mountain Climbers
15 Alternating Lunges

10 Mountain Climbers
10 Alternating Lunges

5 Mountain Climb
5 Alternating lunges

HOLD a PLANK for 35 seconds

Box Jump - stand squarely in front of a step, the stairs, front stoop. Squat down to gain momentum, jump up and land on the step. You can land on the first, second or third step, just be sure you can clear the step and land with both feet in a squat position. STEP OFF and repeat the jump.
Regression... an option to begin at a less intense place or to regress when you get tired rather than stopping, hold the squat, step up one foot at a time and step down.
PUSH UPS - start at the hardest level... on your toes, then drop the knees to continue the exercise.

PS. If you want to choose two different days i.e. Mon/Wed or WED/Fri or THU/SAT, go for it, the idea is that you get moving.

Finally... My recipe share for the week. There will be others, but this one is pretty good.
This is so delicious and yes you can remove the meat or replace it with your favorite protein (tofu, beef, shrimp). Cold weather food, comfort food that isn't so high in fat or calories but loaded with vegetables and protein. I love taking a recipe like this and adding other favorite veggies... butternut squash, for example. Yummy.

Good Luck!!
Let's do this! Let's get moving!